Author: Ellen Lupton

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Keith Godard (1938-2020)
Keith Godard was playful, funny, irreverent, and smart. Decked out in dapper bow ties and bright red shoes, he brought bubbles of joy to every occasion. He and Studio Works, the company he founded in 1986, contributed mightily to life in New York City. His works are preserved in many museum collections, including Cooper Hewitt,...
Image features bright red text set against a lime green background. The text is manipulated so that the letters join into a single swirling form evocative of smoke or flame.
Remembering Wes Wilson (1937–2020)
Designer Wes Wilson, who died on January 24, 2020, at age 82, created some of the most memorable posters of the psychedelic era. These wavy-gravy, acid-colored, hand-lettered provocations for the eye accompanied rock shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom. Wilson’s posters for the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, The Association, and other bands...
Image features th e poster “Centrale Bond 30.000 Transportarbeiders (Central Union 30,000 Transport Workers)”, showing a large figure composed of photomontage standing before two red figures with their backs to the viewer, all on yellow background; "CENTRALE BOND" in black in a curved line at top, the number 30,000 in white superimposed on the large figure, "TRANSPORTARBEIDERS"in black across the bottom. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
The Wisdom of Crowds
This rare poster was created in 1930 Paul Schuitema (Dutch, 1897–1968). The poster came to Cooper Hewitt in 2019 as a gift from Merrill C. Berman, one of the world’s most influential collectors of modern graphic design and a longtime collaborator with our museum. With this recent gift, Schuitema’s poster is coming home to Cooper...
Image features black and white photomontage combining image of roast pork apparently flying in the sky alongside US Army bombers. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Recipe for Victory
A pork shank flies through the air, flanked by nine Allied bombers. Perspective lines shoot out from a distant point of origin, emphasizing the speed, impact, and patriotic urgency of the heroic ham and her military escort. But why? Signed “herbert bayer” in the upper left corner, this mysterious black-and-white printed photomontage is part of...
Image features a brochure with a diagram of the overall menstrual cycle on the front cover in pink, red, yellow, white, and black against a black background. White numbers representing days of the month are arranged in a circle, and different types of moons appear in white in the four corners. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Herbert Bayer, Master of the Universe
Herbert Bayer is known for his work as a student and teacher at the Bauhaus, the famous German art school that integrated art, design, and daily life. During Bayer’s formative years at the Bauhaus (1921–1928), he helped create the modern discipline of graphic design by using photography, type, and geometric systems to promote products and...
Jennifer Morla: Experimental Typography
In celebration of the milestone 20th anniversary of the National Design Awards, this week’s Object of The Day posts honor National Design Award winners. What does “typography” mean to you? Does the word stir up contempt for Comic Sans and Papyrus, or does it conjure a death match between Times New Roman and Helvetica? For...
Image features the poster for "Day Without Art" to honor artists who died of AIDS. Reproduction of ink and paper drawing of Darrel Ellis' "Self Portrait" at top half. Image of African-American young man with hands clasped in front. Across top, "We're all one human being,/really./ - Darrell Ellis (died of AIDS in 1992)/ (Source: Interview with David Hirsh)" (in red). Written biography of Ellis and information about this day such as date, purpose, and sponsors below in red. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Darrel Ellis: Human Touch
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This poster, published by Visual AIDS in 1994, features a painting by Darrel Ellis (1958–1992), an African-American artist who created photographs, paintings, and mixed media sculptures. Many of his paintings are based on photographs, including family...
Image features a light orange book cover showing the title, GEEK LOVE, in black hand-lettered capital letters at top, the words overlapping their mirrored images in dark orange. Printed below the title, in black capital letters: A NOVEL / KATHERINE DUNN. At the left edge, hand-lettered text repeats the title and author's name on the spine. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Book Geek
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. What does it take to design a great book cover? An avid taste for literature surely helps, and so does an eccentric eye for images and type. Chip Kidd (American, b. 1964) has designed some of...
Image features a square poster printed in black and white on a blue background, showing a circle within a ring. The circle contains the image of an eye, with the following text in the pupil: WAC women's action coalition. The black ring contains text in white: WAC IS WATCHING WOMEN TAKE ACTION. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Women’s Action is Women’s Power
In celebration of World Pride, June Object of the Day posts highlight LGBTQ+ designers and design in the collection. This post originally appeared  on June 15, 2015. Founded in 1992, the Women’s Action Coalition (WAC) staged public demonstrations or “actions” to raise the visibility of women in art, culture, and society. The organization was founded in response to the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings, which riveted...